Dressage & Trail

Tuscany Italy: (IT-SR04)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/italy_dressage_tuscany.aspx

Tuscany Italy
Strategically positioned midway between Siena and Florence sits a handsome, stone farmhouse villa dating from the 1700's and owned by Gianni and Cristina, a couple who have dedicated their lives to the equestrian arts. The farm estate appeals particularly to visitors with a passion for horseback riding and dressage, for the De Marchis offer everything from basic beginner riding lessons to advanced dressage training, complemented with day long trail rides through the gorgeous surrounding countryside. In fact, the center is recognized as one of the top “ranches” in the Tuscany area.  Instruction is available for both the rider just starting out in dressage as well as for experienced dressage enthusiasts around the world. With the emphasis on correct basic schoolwork, riders are also encouraged to work on carefully prepared exercises in the lateral movements, transitions, canter and counter-canter as well as work from the ground. For the most advanced level of riders visiting the farm, riders also have the possibility to work on the piaffé, passage and flying changes. But of course there is a lot more. Miles and miles of trail riding in the surrounding typical Tuscan countryside and even a wine tasting stop can be built into your daily program.

The riding program offer a wide variety of choices and easily be modified to your riding level and the type of riding you want to improve on.
Meals are all taking together at a long rustic table in front of the fireplace - a wonderful place to swap stories of the day with your fellow riders. The chef is an undiscovered gem - you will taste some of the best typical cuisine of Tuscany with wines of the area.


Guests are hosted in an 18th century country villa featuring terra-cotta floors, wooden beamed roofs etc. The house has 8 guest rooms (all fith bathrooms) and 2 apartments. On the ground floor is a rustic living room with country antiques, comfy sofas, and piano enhanced by a vaulted brick ceiling and worn terra-cotta floors, off which are two bedrooms. Upstairs, the main gathering area is the dining room, which features a massive fireplace and a seemingly endless wooden table. This room gives access to more bedrooms, each decorated with touches such as dried flowers, white lace curtains, and, of course, equestrian prints. The "special" room in the tower (La Piccionaia) has six windows giving a wonderful panoramic view over the scenic landscape - a must for honeymooners.
There are also 2 separate apartments with kitchenette. WIFI is availavle everywhere onsite.


Half board is included in this packages with breakfasts and dinners. Lunches can be added for an extra fee.

Forget a diet here! Four courses are served and a good Chianti wine is always at your disposal (and included in the prices!). The products are genuine and fresh:  using olive oil that is produced at the farm. We cater vegetarian food upon request!
The cuisine is typical of Tuscany and delicious. The meals are served in the big dining room in front of the open fire place. Four courses are served including as much wine and mineral water as you wish, finished off with an Espresso.
This is an international riding center where you will meet at the same long table riders and non riders coming from all over the world. Often 6 different languages are spoken at the same dinner table!
You will certainly make new friendship and meet old friends if you are or will be one of our returning friends.

*Lunches are not included, but can be ordered daily. Often riders will go into the village, town or all the way into Florence or Siena to sightsee for half a day after or before their lessons.


A very dedicated and friendly team will welcome you at the riding center in Tuscany.
Carla and Katiuscia will organize anything you need and will be your main contact persons during your holiday in Tuscany.
Miriam, Jenny, Stefano, Camilla, Rebecca (the trail guide), Helen and Dany will collaborate with Cristina and Gianni in all the horse riding activities.
Rosetta, Gabriella and Bava will serve you fantastic dinners, while Elide will have the direction of the shopping and gardening activities. Ivan is our nice and mad jolly.
You will have the chance to meet all these nice people during your stay.


Room details:
Here you will find the name of the room, a description and the number of people that it can accommodate:

Linari:  a special light and a beautiful view of the Castle of Linari.
1 double bed - can accommodate a max. of 2 people

Robinia: a special light making the room very warm. It has the view on the background of a Robinia tree
1 double bed (or 2 single beds) - can accommodate a max. of 2 people

Pozzo: a very appreciated room in the hot summer because it is one of the coolest.
1 double bed (or 2 single beds) - can accommodate a max. of 2 people

Maneggio: a cozy single room. The only one with private but separated bathroom.
1 french bed can host only 1 person

Cavallo: a very spacious room with a special light at the sunset.
1 double bed + 1 single bed (or 3 single beds) - can accommodate a max. of 3 people

Piccionaia: a charming and exclusive place on the top of the house with panoramic view on the valley.
1 double bed - can accommodate a max. of 2 people

Volta: a very spacious room and with an independent exit to the garden and a large bathroom with bath.
1 double bed + 1 single bed (or 3 single beds) - can accommodate a max. of 3 people

Teatro: a very large and silent room with arched ceiling.
1 double bed + 2 single beds - can accommodate a max. of 4 people


Appartamento "La Mangiatoia": a small apartment with kitchenette. Double room and double day bed in the living room. 1 double bed + 1 double day bed - can accommodate a max. of 4 people

Appartamento "Stallina": a very nice apartment with garden and a nice view over the valley.
1 double bed + 2 single beds - can accomodate a max. of 4 people

Laundry: We don’t have a laundry service at the facility, but there is a laundromat and laundry service in Barberino val d’Elsa, which is the closest town. It is about 30 minutes walk, but we can offer a ride should you like to visit.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.


Riding Center
The riding center has been recommended by the English T.T.T. (Training the Teachers of Tomorrow) association. The quality of tuition is excellent and caters mainly to the novice to good intermediate rider. Instructors and guides are BHS, GEA, FISE UISP.
Riding lessons are taken in one of the two training arenas and are in English, Italian, French or German. There are usually up to 20-24 riders at the center, but the riding groups are kept small (max 4 rider per session) and divided into different level groups.

We have approximately 30 horses, among which Lusitano, Anglo-Arab, Sella Italiano, Holsteiner, Arab, Kwpn, Maremmano, Merens and Pony breeds.

Riding Experience
Although these rides out are calm and always accompanied by a qualified guide, they are not suitable for beginners. In most cases, we follow small country paths or go across the Tuscan countryside.


Age Restriction
Please note we cannot guarantee hacking/trail riding for children under 14 years old. We can confirm it only once we have seen them riding.


These riding packages are available:

1. Beginner Program: 10 riding lessons or 9 lessons and 1 riding out. 
2. Lessons & Hacking: 6 dressage lessons and 3 trail rides.
3. Dressage Program: 9 dressage lessons and 1 trail ride

 ----  these packages can be customized to your needs ...it is possible to book additional lessons or rides out.

The lessons are divided into three groups.
Beginners can learn riding from the very first steps.
Post-beginners can extend their knowledge and skill or partake in the riding out.
Experienced riders can take dressage lessons and combine this with riding out.

*Please observe that the beginners program is only for real beginners (absolute beginners or riders that are able to do walk and trot but not canter). Riders that are confident with the three paces walk, trot and canter can reserve the dressage program for the lessons or be aware to pay the price difference if they are unsure and book the beginners program but then become assessed as experienced enough by us.

The riding lessons are taken in the training arena adjacent to the house. The lessons are in small groups, which are arranged according to riding skills. The lessons are in English, Italian or French. The lessons for adults last 50 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon. In summer time (from June to September), all lessons last 40 minutes and the two lessons can be run consecutively in the morning if its better for horses and riders because of the hot conditions.

Hacking / Trail Rides:
The riding out on trails is always accompanied by a local guide. In most cases they follow small country paths or go cross-country. Roads are only seldom crossed. The ride out lasts from two to three hours each – it is calm, with some trot and a little bit of canter if the riders are confident, it is nice for the beauty of the landscape, which is unique in Tuscany and particularly in the Chianti. Children under 14 years of age cannot do the long ride out, but if they are confident, they may do a shorter itinerary of one hour (at the cost of Euro 40).

Classical Dressage Training

The training method is based on supplying and loosening up the horse to achieve elasticity and lightness in the use of the aids. We follow the very traditional principles of classical riding but which are also practiced by riders competing in modern dressage.
The professional foundation is based on the academic style and the qualification is derived from the benefit of several years of training with Portuguese master Pedro Batista De Almeida, a pupil of the great Nuno Olivera. Mr. De Almeida spent his career as the technical director responsible for the Portuguese National Stud which has more than 100 stallions.

Non riders:
The center also organizes courses in the Italian language and is an excellent base for touring the heart of Tuscany (you should have a rental car). Florence and Siena are just 30 minutes by car. The swimming pool gives splendid views over olive groves and vineyards. This is an ideal place to explore the Tuscan countryside by foot or by bicycle. The beautiful trekking routes of the Chianti-valley can be reached by car very easily.

Non rider rates include: 7 nights lodging with breakfast and dinner.

Rates and Dates for Dressage & Trail

Rates include:

Accommodations, buffet breakfast and four course gourmet dinner with table wine and mineral water
Your choice of riding package:
A. Beginner Program: 10 riding lessons or 9 lessons and 1 ride out. B. Lessons and Hacking: 6 dressage lessons and 3 trail rides.
C. Hacking Program: 5 half day trail rides
D. Dressage Program: 9 dressage lessons and 1 riding out
-- addiditional riding can be arrange at extra cost

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    20198 days, MAP - Beginner Program (high)€1195$1435
  • B
    20198 days, MAP - Dressage Lessons and Hacking (high)€1260$1515
  • C
    20198 days, MAP - Hacking (high)€1080$1295
  • D
    20198 days, MAP - Dressage Program (Intermediate and Experienced Riders) (high)€1295$1555
  • E
    20198 days, MAP - Beginner Program€1090$1310
  • F
    20198 days, MAP - Dressage Lessons and Hacking€1160$1395
  • G
    20198 days, MAP - Hacking€975$1170
  • H
    20198 days, MAP - Dressage Program (Intermediate and Experienced Riders)€1190$1430
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

Rates Note:

Note: Rooms are cleaned daily - change of towels only once during the week - additional changes can be requested at €6
Additional riding lessons are available from € 32 to 40.
Lunches can be ordered a la carte.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Note: Rooms are cleaned daily - change of towels only once during the week - additional changes can be requested at €6
Additional riding lessons are available from € 32 to 40.
Lunches can be ordered a la carte.

Transfer and Other Charges:

2019 Transfer from Florence airport (max 4 pax), one-way, per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
85 $105
2019 Transfer from Florence centre (max 4 pax), one-way, per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
75 $90
2019 Transfer from Pisa airport (max 4 pax), one-way, per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
135 $165
2019 Transfer from Poggibonsi train station (max 4 pax), one-way, per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
30 $35
2019 Transfers from San Filippo included 0 $0
2019 Single supplement
- to be paid locally
195 $235
2019 Non-rider, dbl, pp (peak) 805 $965
2019 Non-rider, dbl, pp 700 $840
2019 Children rates- please inquire 0 $0

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
E 2019 03/16 - 04/05 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Beginner Progr... 2 /4 Reserve
F 2019 03/16 - 04/05 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Dressage Lesso... 2 /4 Reserve
G 2019 03/16 - 04/05 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Hacking 2 /4 Reserve
H 2019 03/16 - 04/05 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Dressage Progr... 2 /4 Reserve
A 2019 04/06 - 10/12 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Beginner Progr... 2 /4 Reserve
B 2019 04/06 - 10/12 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Dressage Lesso... 2 /4 Reserve
C 2019 04/06 - 10/12 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Hacking (high) 2 /4 Reserve
D 2019 04/06 - 10/12 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Dressage Progr... 2 /4 Reserve
E 2019 10/13 - 11/11 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Beginner Progr... 2 /4 Reserve
F 2019 10/13 - 11/11 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Dressage Lesso... 2 /4 Reserve
G 2019 10/13 - 11/11 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Hacking 2 /4 Reserve
H 2019 10/13 - 11/11 8d / 7n 8 days, MAP - Dressage Progr... 2 /4 Reserve

Dates Note:
Weekly from Saturday to Saturday
For Jan, Feb and March: the full riding program only upon request with enough participants.
Sold Out Dates (as of 07/23/19): August 10th to September 1st, September 7-14, October 5 -12 & October 19-26

Rates do not include:

Lunches and Gratuities.
Lessons are 50 minutes, private sessions 45 minutes
Half day rides are approx 3 hrs.

Other Info
Meeting: San Filippo
Airport: Florence
Transfer: Florence airport or Florence train station

                                            Poggibonsi area














Average High Temperature (°F)













Average Low Temperature (°F)













Average High Temperature (°C)













Average Low Temperature (°C)













Source: NOAA

To avoid the heat, it’s best to visit in spring and autumn. During the peak summer months of July and August, the weather can be very hot, but it still gets cooler in the evenings. It usually does not rain in the summertime. Autumn brings more comfortable temperatures as well as some rainfall, but there are still dry, sunny days. The winters are not too chilly with the lowest expected temperatures in the peak of winter being around 0°C / 32°F. However, at night, it sometimes gets very cold.

What To Bring:
Beginners do not have to bring a full riding equipment - we can provide chaps, whips and riding hats (not all sizes). 

No laundry service is available, but there is one in Tavarnelle (3Km from Il Paretaio).

This list is only a guideline for you


Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets

Personal Travel Insurance


Visa (check with your consulate)



Normal riding gear or comfortable, yet sturdy pants. No leggings please.

Riding boots or shoes with flat soles and heels that cover the ankles. We recommend mini chaps.

Long sleeved cotton shirts (for sun protection)

Riding helmet (not mandatory, but recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection

A wind breaker, rain gear that can be pulled over the saddle



Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts



Underwear and socks


Light summer jacket

Trekking boots / Comfortable shoes




Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for an emergency)

Sewing kit


Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and enough extra films

Belt pack

Address book and pen (for postcards!)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm